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February 11, 2010

Restaurant Owner Enters Plea in $2.3 Million Tax Theft

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Department of Revenue today announced that on January 25, 2010, Richard Paul Beattie, Jr., 48, of Broward County entered a plea of no contest to 14 counts of theft of state sales tax and one count of Aggravated White Collar Crime. Adjudication was withheld and Beattie was placed on 10 years probation and ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Revenue in the amount of over $ 2.3 million, all costs of the investigation and prosecution, and court costs.

From November 1, 2002 through January 21, 2005, Beattie was the president of Huntington Restaurants Group, Inc. and its subsidiary Golden Management, Inc., which at one time owned and operated over 30 Denny's Restaurant franchises in Florida and filed a consolidated sales tax return for those restaurants. Sales tax returns are to be filed and the sales tax paid to the state at the end of each month.

For several months, Golden Management, Inc. paid the sales taxes the restaurants had collected with bad checks, many in excess of $100,000 each. Beattie made no effort to pay the sales taxes the restaurants had collected despite the fact that the taxes due were more than $100,000 each month.

The case was investigated by the Department of Revenue and prosecuted by Attorney General Bill McCollum's Office of Statewide Prosecution.